tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 21, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
ee moemg i. >> less complicated. world news tonight, the extraordinary moments late today inside the white house. president trump face to face with the families. parents, student survivors after the deadly school shooting. the father who lost his daughter. >> never going to see my kid again. i want you all to know that. never, ever will i see my kid. that's -- i want it to sink in. it's eternity. >> families from florida, from sandy hook, from columbine. and what the president then said to them. the young people descending on florida's state capital today. what they encountered, as students across the country walk out in solidarity, demanding an end to the school shootings. tonight, honoring the man known as america's pastor. reverend billy graham. and what he told diane sawyer about death. how often he thought about it and his hope afterward. the massive winter storm tonight. 20 states.
the rescues. this woman on the roof of her car. snow, ice, blinding rain from texas all the way up to the northeast. tonight, the newest school plot. the discovery when police search a student's home. three alleged plots, three different parts of the country. and the american tourists and the ferry explosion at a popular tourist destination. the wounded treated right there on the scene. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. and we begin tonight with the bravery and the raw emotion on full display late today at the white house, as families, parents who lost children in the deadly school shooting, sat just a few feet away from president trump, pleading for something to be done. and it wasn't only parents who lost sons and daughters in parkland, florida, there were families from newtown, from columbine, among others. students who lost friends, one of them saying he could not believe it's just been a week. saying time is frozen, along with the pain. the president listening as
parent after parent asked the president to do something. one father, who lost his daughter, asking the president, how many schools, how many children have to get shot? the father saying, it stops here with this administration. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl leading us off. >> reporter: for nearly an hour, the president sat, mostly silent, listening to the horrific first-hand accounts of senseless violence. justin gruber was hiding in a closet and texting his father as his classmates were gunned down in parkland, florida. >> i was born into a world where i never got to experience safety and peace. there needs to be significant change in this country, because this has to never happen again and people should be able to feel that when they go to school, they can be safe. >> reporter: his father begging the president to do something. >> it is not political. it is a human issue. people are dying. and we have to stop this. we have stop it. if he is not old enough to buy a
drink, to go and buy a beer, he should not be able to buy a gun at 18 years old. i mean, that's just common sense. we have to do common sense. please, mr. trump, these are things we have to do. we got to do something about this. we cannot have our children die. >> reporter: andrew pollack's 18-year-old daughter meadow was one of the 17 killed at stoneman douglas high school last week. mr. pollack stood with his sons beside him. >> we're here because my daughter has no voice. she was murdered last week and she was taken from us. shot nine times on the third floor. we as a country failed our children. this shouldn't happen. we go to the airport, i can't get on a plane with a bottle of water, but we leave some animal to walk into a school and shoot our children. it's just not right.
and we need come together as a country and work on what is important. and that's protecting our children. in the schools. that's the only thing that matters right now. everyone has to come together and not think about different laws. we need to come together as a country, not different parties, and figure out how we protect the schools. how many schools, how many children have to get shot? it stops here with this administration and me. i'm not going to sleep until it is fixed. all these school shootings, it doesn't make sense. fix it. should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it. and i'm pissed. because my daughter i'm not going to see again. she's not here. she's not here. she's in north lauderdale, whatever it is, king david
cemetery, that's where i go to see my kid now. and it stops. we all work together and come up with the right idea, and it's school safety. that's it. no other discussions. security, whatever we have to do. get the right people, the consultants -- these are our commodities. i'm never going to see my kid again. i want you all to know that, never ever will i see my kid. that's how -- i want it to sink in. it's eternity. my beautiful daughter, i'm never going to see again. and it's simple. if it's not, we can fix it. >> reporter: samuel zeif was texting with his brother a floor above as the gunman murdered one of their classmates. >> i turned 18 the day after. woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. and i don't understand why i can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war, an ar.
i was reading today that a person 20 years old walked into a store and bought an ar-15 in five minutes with an expired i.d. how is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? how are we not stopping this after columbine, after sandy hook? i'm sitting with a mother that lost her son. >> reporter: then the president heard from nicole hockley, whose 6-year-old son dylan was among the 20 children murdered in sandy hook. >> this is not difficult. these deaths are preventable. and i implore you, consider your own children. you don't want to be me. no parent does. and you have the ability to make a difference and save lives today. please don't waste this. >> reporter: after the stories were told, the president asked for ideas to stop the violence in schools. >> and one possible solution, which may not be very popular, would be to have people in the
school, teachers, administrators, who have volunteered to have a firearm safely locked in the classroom, who are given training throughout the year. >> reporter: it was an idea the president seemed to like. he brought up assistant coach aaron feis, who died shielding his students from gunfire last week. >> if the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy -- that coach was very brave, saved a lot of lives, i suspect -- but if he had a firearm, he wouldn't have had to run, he would have shot, and that would have been the end of it. >> reporter: the president asked for a show of hands. >> does anybody like that idea here? does anybody like it? right? yes. for meadow, your beautiful meadow. you talked about that. and do people feel strongly against it, anybody? anybody? strongly against it. all right, i can -- we can understand both sides. and certainly it's controversial. but we'll study that along with
many other ideas. >> reporter: but the father of one of the sandy hook victims stood up, saying his wife is a teacher, and this is just too much pressure. >> and she will tell you that school teachers have more than enough responsibilities right now than to have to have the awesome responsibility of lethal force to take a life. >> and jon karl joins us now from the white house. jon, just a remarkable and moving scene. we were all watching in silence in the newsroom along with millions of americans at home late today. a very rare thing to invite so many families to the white house to get that kind of time with the president. but it also invites considerable pressure now to act. >> reporter: an incredibly powerful scene, david. although the president was silent for most of it, he did talk about potential actions on guns. he vowed to improve the background check system, and then he said that he is, quote, looking very strongly at raising the age of purchase. as you know, right now, you just need to be 18 to buy an ar-15 assault weapon.
he is considering raising that age to 21. that is something that may put him right up against the nra, the nra is already out with a statement opposing that. but as the president said, on that question of pressure, david, the world is watching. >> jon karl leading us off from the white house. jon, thank you. also late today, the sheriff from broward county, home of that high school in parkland, florida, of course, revealing that all deputies in schools will now carry rifles on school grounds. meantime, young people across florida arriving in that state's capital, and you will see how they were received inside those meetings. and look at this tonight. across the country, students staging walkouts to show their support. from florida to minnesota, from illinois to colorado. abc's dan harris on what the florida students were asking for. dan was in the room when they were face to face with lawmakers. >> reporter: the 100 students from parkland began their extraordinary day-long lobbying mission on minimal sleep but maximal optimism. >> we're running on adrenaline. we're running on each other's hopes that we can go on and make
a difference. >> reporter: state senators began this day by displaying pictures of the 17 victims. >> a yes or no? >> reporter: the solemnity did not stop students from hitting lawmakers with pointed questions about gun policy. >> do you think you'd actually push for any policy yourself or just agree with it, if it's convenient to you? >> never again! never again! >> reporter: while the kids from parkland make the rounds inside the capital, there's a large rally here outside. >> after 49 people, including my two brothers were murdered at pulse, what did you do? >> nothing! >> reporter: back inside, as the students continued their work, their initial optimism curdled into frustration, as they complained about what they viewed as a lack of straight answers from lawmakers. >> because what i saw today was discouraging. >> reporter: look what happened in this encounter between students and republican state senator aaron bean, who repeatedly dodged questions about whether he would support a ban on semiautomatic rifles like
the one allegedly used by nikolas cruz to kill 17 people at douglas high school one week ago. >> what's your personal stance on assault-style weapons like an ar-15? >> yeah, it's a head-scratcher where we are, so, it's going to be -- it's going to be a debate. i've always defended people's right to defend themselves. >> with an ar-15? >> i haven't got specifics. >> reporter: you've been generally considered pro-gun or -- after the meeting, the senator didn't want to answer questions from us, either. >> i have to get to committee. i'm trying to think of a -- >> reporter: okay. okay. >> dan harris and the team documenting that trip to florida's state capital. and dan, we know there are only 11 days left in the current legislative session there. that's not a lot of time, especially in politics. any sign tonight that these school kids will see change any time soon? >> reporter: yes, david, it is likely, we're told that there will be new legislation in the
coming 11 days. it's not likely the legislation will include what the students want, which is a ban on semiautomatic rifles, but it is likely that a change would require anybody who buys one of these weapons to be 21 instead of 18. also, speaking of ar-15s, as you mentioned, late today, the sheriff in broward county announcing that all deputies in schools throughout that county, which includes parkland, they will now be carrying ar-15s. >> dan harris right there in tallahassee for us. dan, thank you. we turn next to the other major headline tonight, tributes now pouring in across the country for the man known as america's pastor. the reverend billy graham, who passed away today at the age of 99. he connected with so many, including countless presidents and first ladies who turned to him in moments of crisis. abc's steve osunsami in north carolina tonight, where reverend graham lived and where he was from. >> christ can change your life. he can forgive your sins. he can make you a new person. >> reporter: at 7:46 this
morning, the heavens he worshipped came calling. evangelist billy graham died at his home in moncreat, north carolina. hours later, at his library outside charlotte, visitors from across the world were just hearing the word. >> his work is going to continue on. >> oh, yeah. >> but it's god's work. >> reporter: through his many religious crusades, the boy who grew up on a dairy farm would end up preaching the gospel to more than 215 million people, getting 10,000 letters from the faithful every week. >> have you believed in the son that was lifted up? have you received him? >> reporter: he spent his life providing quiet counsel to kings and queens and u.s. presidents. >> we are going to pray every day for our president. >> reporter: from president donald trump tonight, graham "was a very special man." from george w. bush, "a shepherd to millions has passed on." carter and clinton are all offering tributes. in 2007, the clintons explained how much it meant to them, when he came to visit after the
political sex scandal became public. >> he is one of the people who made a real difference to me personally. he was someone who could understand both bill and me. >> and he just talked to me. and what he wanted me to know was that the christ he believed in was a god of second chances. >> reporter: for a young george w. bush, that message from the reverend led him to sobriety. >> as a result of being with billy graham and being inspired by billy graham, and i guess being led by billy graham, i started reading the bible and shortly thereafter, i quit drinking. >> reporter: president johnson leaned on the reverend during vietnam, and reagan famously called graham from his hospital bed after he was shot. but graham was questioned for the relationship he kept with nixon. >> i prayed for him, prayed for him several times a day, that god would help him. >> reporter: he prayed with presidents, and just as easily, with everyday americans. reverend billy graham will be laid to rest at his library and childhood home directly behind me. he will be buried next to his wife, who died in 2007.
david? >> steve osunsami in north carolina. steve, thank you. and later, right here tonight, what reverend graham said when diane sawyer asked him how often he thought about death, and his hope afterward. but first, the other news tonight, and to the severe weather at this hour, that major winter storm bringing snow, freezing rain, flooding. and a tornado watch in louisiana for much of the day. that winter storm stretching from texas to maine. dangerous flooding in dallas tonight. a woman rescued from her car in rushing waters. and treacherous ice flipping a big rig on its side on highway 81 in texas. abc's marcus moore from the storm zone tonight. >> reporter: tonight, that massive storm cutting across the country. bringing a wintry blast to western parts of north texas, covering roads with dangerous ice. and to the east, in dallas, a deluge of flooding rain leading to water rescues. even first responders needing help. and overnight -- >> there, the rescue underway now. >> reporter: -- a woman rescued from the roof of a car. those storms packed with
lightning and thunder. and a terrifying moment for lacy smith and his family. lightning striking their car, sending its hood flying. evacuations in indiana and southwest of chicago, as rivers there continue to rise. and tonight, you can see how much the trinity river has come up here in dallas. and this is far from over, david. the rain continues to fall. in the coming days, another half a foot is expected from texas and across the heartland. david? >> that's right. more rain to come. thank you, marcus. let's get to rob with the track tonight. hey, rob. >> reporter: two more rounds, david. check it out. the record warmth, the heat in the east is allowing the atmosphere to dump more rain in the same areas. right in that jet scream. and here we go. might even see a little bit of snow across the northeast tomorrow. the last round comes through dallas and through the heartland during the day on friday, another three to five inches of rain, so, the flood threat will be ongoing. >> all right, rob, thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the ferry explosion at a popular tourist destination. the images coming in. more than two dozen people hurt, including americans. also, the newest school plot, believe it or not, the discovery when police search a
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same family. david, thankfully, no one died in that boat explosion. investigators now looking into some kind of mechanical failure as a possible cause. david? >> victor, thank you. when we come back tonight, the alleged new school plot now foiled. and that headline i mentioned, alex trebek with a new job? and the wolf huffed and puffed... like you do sometimes, grandpa? well, when you have copd, it can be hard to breathe. it can be hard to get air out, which can make it hard to get air in. so i talked to my doctor. she said... symbicort could help you breathe better, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. symbicort helps provide significant improvement of your lung function. symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort contains formoterol. medicines like formoterol increase the risk of death from asthma problems. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems.
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mmmmm...amazing. i have heartburn. ultra strength from alka seltzer. enjoy the relief. finally tonight here, diane sawyer with reverend billy graham, asking about something many of us have thought about, too. he was known as america's pastor. his personal connection with so many who never even met him. his worries, often the same as ours. even when it came to death. >> how often do you think about it? >> i couldn't answer how often. i suppose i think about it quite a bit, like everybody else. i think we are all conscious that this life is very temporary and it's very short. the older you get, the shorter it seems.
it seems just yesterday that i was milking cows with my father on the farm. we're all facing death and we all better get worried about it and be sure we're right with god so we're ready for that day of judgment that's going to come. >> reporter: and diane asked him what he hoped people would say about him after he was gone. >> what do you hope they'll say? >> i don't want them to say big things about me. because i don't deserve them. i want to hear one person say something nice about me and that's the lord. when i face him, i want him to say to me, well done, my good and faithful servant. but i'm not sure i'm going to hear it, but that's what i would like to hear. >> diane sawyer with reverend graham. i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. from accused to blowing the
whistle. only abc7 news talk to the san francisco fire department suing. the reason the department released unedited graphic video of a shooting while their investigation is still ongoing. >> i don't understand why i can go in a store and buy a weapon of war. >> the parents of victims for change. we didn't do anything wrong here. we did our jobs and yet, we were punished for it. >> response to a sexual harassment scandal. i am dan ashley. >> and i am kristen sze. the firefighters were transferred and said they were the ones discriminated against.
the group spoke exclusively with vic lee. >> reporter: here is the lawsuit filed by the eight officers. they deny harassing the female firefighter. they told us they were punished and kicked off the station without a chance to defend themselves. and it is with this lawsuit that they hope to clear their names. >> did any of you harass this female firefighter? >> no. >> absolutely not. >> no. >> reporter: but the end result, they were transferred out of fire station two in china town. results of a complain by a female firefighter. she said she was harassed by the men because of her gender. confirming the results of the probe. >>